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Berry Supply Chain Management: An Empirical Approach

Segovia-Villarreal, Maria, Florez-Lopez, Raquel, Ramon-Jeronimo, Juan Manuel
Sustainability 2019 v.11 no.10
business enterprises, case studies, food supply chain, interviews, markets, risk reduction, supply chain
The aim of this study is to explore the strategy and supply chain management characteristics of berry-related companies to face the bargaining power unbalance that fosters the European fresh food supply chain; branding-differentiation strategies are particularly explored as mechanisms to create sustainable value for all players along the chain. To this end, a case study is deeply analyzed to find out the different supply chain management mechanisms used by an international berry marketer in order to strengthen the adoption of a commodity differentiation strategy through the creation and positioning of a high-value brand. Data were obtained through 15 semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that strategic moves towards differentiation and positioning might be bolstered by the development and management of stable relationships with the different members involved in the supply chain. Additionally, supply chain risk-control mechanisms, rather than having a central role in the management of the various members of the chain, turned out to be support mechanisms that work together with corporate identity alignment and inter-organizational trust in order to ensure cooperation toward differentiation and positioning in the market.